The leaves are almost all off of the trees, and it’s time to start thinking about winter heating season and how to minimize your heating bills. Fortunately, spending a little time and money early on can save you a bundle come January and February.
How to Efficiently Heat Your Home
We compiled the following 6 steps and “pro tips” below to ensure efficient heating in your Maryland or Washington DC home:
1. Have your furnace serviced. One of the most important things you can do to keep your heating bill as low as possible is have your furnace serviced at the beginning of each winter. A heating system that’s clogged with dirt and dust uses more energy to push the warm air through all that debris. Having an annual service call also helps catch any problems early before they cost you a lot of money on repairs or even a replacement down the road. PRO TIP: Clean or replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners once a month or as recommended.
2. Consider investing in an energy efficient heater. If your heating system is more than 10-years-old, you should consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. Huge advances have been made over the last decade and investing in an energy efficient furnace or heat pump can actually pay for itself in just a few years!
3. Plug those gaps. Even if you added weather stripping and caulk last year, it’s important to check around your windows and doors for any new gaps. Every winter, windows alone are responsible for 20 percent of all heat loss in your home. Seal leaks with caulking and weather-stripping materials to keep temperatures in the home controlled. Check for air leaks around doors and windows, behind electrical outlets, around pipes, along attic hatches and around your chimney. PRO TIP: In winter, open window treatments to let in the sun’s warmth during the day. Close window treatments at night to slow the loss of heat through the glass.
4. Seal your ducts! The average home loses 20-40% of heated and cooled air through leaks in the ductwork. Even the most energy-efficient and highest rated heating and cooling systems are no match for a leaky duct system. In fact, they often make the problem worse! The loss of heated and conditioned air into attics, basements, crawl spaces and behind walls can be virtually eliminated with Aeroseal duct sealing. Sealing your ducts from the inside will not only save you energy and money, but it maximizes the life or your system, improves the air quality AND your home comfort! PRO TIP: Fixing any gaps in your duct system is also important. According to CNN Money, gaps in your duct system can reduce your home’s heating efficiency by up to 40%.
5. Install a programmable thermostat. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat in your home, you should. This is one affordable device that will more than pay for itself in the first few months you own it. It allows you to turn down the temperature in your home automatically for the times you’re asleep or at work. PRO TIP: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turning your thermostat down by 10 – 15 degrees for eight hours can save you up to 15 percent on your winter heating bill. Using a programmable thermostat in conjunction with one of the many energy efficient heaters on the market makes that process even easier.
6. Use your ceiling fans. There should be a switch on your ceiling fan – flip it, and your fan will spin CLOCKWISE. During the winter, the clockwise spinning will push warm air near the ceiling down along the walls, creating a warm breeze in your home that will make you feel comfortable, even at a lower thermostat setting.
Taking these steps and being proactive about your HVAC system this Winter will help your comfort and energy efficiency!
Efficiently Heating Your Home with Michael Bonsby HVAC
To learn more about how to efficiently heat your home in Maryland or DC, contact us. We’ve been helping homeowners in the area with their heating and cooling needs for over 20 years and can help you slash your energy bills with eco-friendly products you’ll love. Call today—301-990-7970.